Tag Archives: North Korean nuclear testing

The Hide and Seek with North Korea and Assists

North Kora cargo ship at Nampo

China, Russia and other countries are failing to rein in North Korea’s illicit financing and weapons proliferation activity, according to a new United Nations report…Their draft report, distributed late the week of Feb. 1, 2018 to a U.N. committee overseeing North Korea sanctions compliance before it heads to the Security Council, details the many ways that Pyongyang is sidestepping bans on trade, finance and weapon sales, according to people who have read the document. The report was also reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.,,,

The report also cites evidence from a member country that Myanmar is buying a ballistic-missile system and conventional weapons from North Korea, including rocket launchers and surface-to-air missiles. Intelligence provided to the investigators suggest Myanmar… is seeking items that are controlled by nuclear and other major weapon proliferation agreements.

The U.N. investigators criticized China, Russia, Malaysia and other countries for failing to do enough to curb illicit finance and trade being conducted in their countries. Roughly $200 million in North Korean coal and other commodities was exported in violation of U.N. bans, the panel said.

Much of North Korea’s coal and fuel shipments went through Chinese, Malaysian, Vietnamese or Russian ports. More than 30 representatives of North Korean financial institutions have been operating abroad, including in China and Russia, the investigators say.

U.N. investigators, citing member-country intelligence, said North Korean ballistic-missile technicians visited Syria several times in 2016 and continue to operate at three sites in the country. They also cited evidence that Syria had received valves and special acid-resistant tiles that are known to be used in chemical-weapons programs.There were enough tiles, according to the U.N. panel’s inspection of interdicted cargo, for a large-scale, high-temperature industrial project. According to one member state, the tiles could be used to build the interior walls of a chemical factory. Two shipments interdicted in late 2016, according to the report, contained enough valves, pipes and cables to build a large-scale industrial project.

 

U.N. Report Faults China, Russia for Subverting North Korea Sanctions, WSJ, Feb. 3, 2018

Nuclear Testing and Radioactive Leaks

US Geological Survey showing the location of seismic activity at the time of the 2017 North Korean Nuclear Test

A fresh nuclear test at North Korea’s mountainous testing site could trigger a leak of radioactive material, South Korea’s chief meteorologist has warned.A hollow space of up to 100m in length in the bottom of Mount Mantap could implode, Nam Jae-cheol said. Pyongyang’s last nuclear test in early September 2017 appeared to have triggered several landslides.

North Korea has conducted six nuclear tests since 2006, using the same site test each time.  “There is a hollow space, which measures about 60 to 100 metres in length, at the bottom of Mount Mantap in the Punggye-ri site,” Mr Nam was quoted by South Korean news agency Yonhap as saying.”Should another nuke test occur, there is the possibility of a collapse,” he warned.  The Punggye-ri test site, situated in mountainous terrain in the north-east of the country, is thought to be Pyongyang’s main nuclear facility and the only active nuclear testing site in the world.

Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post newspaper reported on October 27, 2017 that Chinese geologists warned North Korean officials after the September 2017 test that additional tests there could lead to a massive collapse and a leak of radioactive waste…

Pyongyang might soon launch a satellite – widely seen as a test of the country’s ballistic missile technology.

Excerpts from North Korea: Fresh test could trigger radioactive leak, South says, BBC, Oct. 2017